When Calculating 2015 F-150 Repair Costs, Sample Size Matters

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2015 Ford F-150

Ford’s change to an aluminum body on the 2015 Ford F-150 raised a few questions about insurance premiums and costs to repair. Several places, including the latest Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)¬†report, suggest that aluminum is more expensive to repair than steel, and will also mean insurance rates will be higher. Ford counters with their own numbers. The key here is Ford’s data comes from a much larger sample size, which matters.

Attempting to buy insurance on a brand new vehicle in its first year of production isn’t any more difficult for the consumer, but calculating the number is more difficult for the insurer. They have no crash information to go. You can’t compute an average cost of repairing a vehicle if there are no crashes to average.

Based on the safety features of the new F-150, combined with crash data of the previous steel trucks, many insurance companies are charging the same for the aluminum truck as they did the steel truck.

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To counter the IIHS’s claim, along with repair claims from Edmunds.com and Chevrolet, Ford¬†offers up the findings from Assured Performance, an independent body shop certification company, that says based on 337 2015 F-150 repairs, the average cost of repair is $869.04 less than the 2014 truck.

Assured Performance’s numbers provide a much better analysis of repairs as a whole. Anyone who has taken a basic statistics class can tell you that a larger sample size is better, and 337 trucks being repaired is much better data to go off of than just a few trucks.

As more and more F-150s need body shop work, we’ll get an even better picture of how much it costs to repair one of these trucks. Insurance companies will also have a better idea, and adjust their rates accordingly. If it turns out that the trucks are cheaper to repair, we could actually see a drop in insurance rates in the new truck over the old one.

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It’s also important to re-iterate that the 2015 F-150 is the safest F-150 to date, earning an overall 5-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash test score and earning the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick in the SuperCrew configuration.

This all means that the preventative safety measures on the new truck will keep owners from having as many accidents, and performing well in a crash will reduce the injuries sustained in the crash. All of that means a lower cost to insure as well.

It will be interesting to follow this over time and see how the numbers change as more and more crash data is accumulated from real-world customers out on the streets. As we collect more and more data, we’ll get an even clearer look at the overall repair costs of the 2015 F-150 and a better understanding of just how much insurance premiums are going to be.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or over in the forums!

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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